Plants that can defy droughts and hosepipe bans | James Wong

There are plenty of herbacious perennials that will sail through a summer drought – and will be kinder on your time and the planet

Right at the height of summer, the single most time-consuming job in the garden has to be watering. But even for those who don’t mind battling with a kinked hose every evening after work, eventually hosepipe bans, holiday breaks or, frankly, worrying about the water bill, will probably get the best of you. However, simply swapping some of the more water-hungry species for drought-resistant choices will give you a garden that looks its very best with far less time, cost and effort, not to mention being kinder on the planet, too. Here’s a rundown of my favourite herbaceous perennials that will sail through a summer drought, but also handle some of the wettest, chilliest British winters.

First up, I love agapanthus, for despite their lush, strappy foliage and glamorous, nodding heads of lily-like flowers, their South African provenance means they can cope with some pretty extreme droughts, once established. One of the most reliable species in my books is ‘Arctic Star’, bred in the UK, which gets to almost 1m tall with its ice-white flowers on plants that are super hardy.


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